My Writing Mojo: I Know It’s Here Somewhere

I’ve lost my writing mojo again. A very “first-world” problem to have, I know.


I wasn’t able to go on my writing road trip in December and I’m not going to AWP this March, both of which are bumming me out.

BUT I am on vacation now, with every intention of writing. 

ImageWe are at my parents’ house in the Portland, OR, area. It’s a true vacation – I don’t have to cook or clean or even get up in the morning. They are spoiling my daughter so she has no need for me. And yet all I’ve done for three days is sleep. 

It’s been the best sleep I’ve had in months, maybe years. I’ve not had a true vacation in a long time.

Since 2010, I’ve been a freelancer, so if I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid. So when we’ve visited in the past, I still had to work at least 6 hours a day. 

But now I am salaried again at my day job, so I don’t have to think about work. I don’t have to worry about cooking for my family. Time has expanded right now – waiting to be filled up by writing, and yet…

I keep taking naps. 

Deep, dark, quiet, dead-to-the-world naps, with just a hint of guilt that I should be writing.

This trip was supposed to be a replacement for the writing road trip and also a reward/time away from the crazy schedule my job had demanded of me for the past four months.

So why am I writing a blog post about writing instead of actually writing? Part of it is my decades-old quandary between writing short stories or novels. I have both in progress and can’t decide which to work on with all this free time.

Rather than dive it, I lament how draining it is to go back and forth between the stories and novel and not be completely dedicated to one of them. Deep down I feel like a novelist because I love reading novels – the longer the better (I just finished Hilary Mantel’s “A Place of Greater Safety,” clocking in at 768 pages). 

But I enjoy writing stories more. Go figure.

But I can’t give one of them up completely.

One approach I’ve decided on is to look at this next draft (fourth? fifth?) of the novel as a series of short stories rather than a novel. 

Without AWP to look forward to, I need to dig deep to find my mojo again.

Tomorrow’s trip to Powell’s should help.

 

6 thoughts on “My Writing Mojo: I Know It’s Here Somewhere

  1. Keep the faith as it will all come together. Give my love to your folks.

    All is well with the familys down here in Southern California as well as Anna in Florida. Haven’t seen Keith since before Christmas although he only lives about a mile and a half from me. Can only presume they are well or else I would have heard.

    Craig is still happily teaching elementary school and Maria is doing whatever it is she does. Craig’s children are all grown except for a seventeen year old. Maria and Nicole’s boys are growing quickly with one of them now eleven and the other two eight and nine.

    Peace and love always, Uncle Eric

  2. Jen, I know exactly what you mean. I think the sleep is important to the process. Don’t question it, simply go with it and be grateful for the opportunity. Your brain is working nonetheless. And when you write, let it be whateverthefuck you want, without judgment. Even if it’s a grocery list. Hell, let the grocery list be a jumping off point. Lots of love.

  3. I always hate deciding between working on a novel and a short story. A short story is so gratifying because it’s easier to get that sense of completion, but there’s something nice about taking time to really let a story unfold in a novel! Enjoy the vacation!

  4. Oh Dear, I’m afraid I’m not sure what Dad is talking about… no 17yr olds that I’m aware of. But like he says, keep the faith. I told you, you are simply exhausted so take advantage and sleep it through.

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